COVID-19 cases may drop to pre-omicron levels by March: expert


Posted at Jan 11 2022 09:32 AM

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MANILA – The number of COVID-19 cases in the country may return to pre-omicron levels by March, an expert said Tuesday.

Asked when the country can start seeing a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases, Prof. Jomar Rabajante of the University of the Philippines (UP) Pandemic Response Team said, “In terms of (National Capital Region), kung titingnan natin yung projections namin, if let’s say we’re going to have the peak mid-January--etong malapit-lapit na ‘no kasi January 11 na ngayon eh, so kung next week--magstart, pwede na siyang mag-start mag-decline.”

“But, itong pag-decline hindi ibig sabihin low-level na agad tayo. Mag-start palang siyang mag-decline, katulad ng South Africa, nag-peak sila ng December 17, but currently nandoon pa rin sila sa pagdedecline, wala pa sila sa low level,” he explained.

“If we are expecting doon sa tinatawag--kasi yung mga tao laging nagtatanong sa amin, kailan huhupa? Kung ang ibig sabihin natin ng hupa ay low-level, hindi agad-agad yan. We might experience yung paghupa na low-level, siguro pre-omicron, earliest na yung last week of February, mga March pa siguro natin mararamdaman yung paghupa,” he said.

The Philippines on January 10 logged 33,169 new COVID-19 cases, the third straight day it reported a record-high daily tally.

“Historical din siya kasi, hindi lang national yung nalampasan natin na Delta peak, kundi in terms of regional, siyempre NCR, talagang anlayo na nung Delta peak doon sa Omicron surge natin ngayon,” Rabajante said of Monday’s figures.

“Region 4A sadly lumampas na din. And just yesterday lumampas na din ang Region 3.”

Rabajante also noted that the Philippines may breach the 3 million mark in terms of the number of cumulative COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

“Today, we might breach the 3 million mark. So in terms of cumulative numbers, 3 million tayo.”

The Philippines' total case count on January 10 climbed to 2,998,530 cases, of which 157,526 or 5.3 percent were active infections, based on Department of Health data.

Rabajante noted that the reproduction rate of COVID-19 in the Philippines seems to be declining.

He stressed, however, that this still need to be monitored in the coming days. 

“Merong change na doon sa reproduction number natin, umabot tayo ng more than 4 nung few days, past few days, pero ngayon medyo nadedecline, but still greater than 1. Ibig sabihin, nandoon pa rin tayo sa increasing stage.”

--TeleRadyo, 11 January 2021